USA— According to International Food Information Council’s (IFIC) 2022 Food & Health Survey, in 2022, about three-quarters of Americans said they snack at least once a day, marking a 15% jump since 2021.
The survey, which included 1,005 U.S. consumers aged between 18 and 80, also uncovered a large uptick in the number of consumers who reported following a diet or eating pattern—from 39% in 2021 to 52% in 2022.
Stress could be attributed to the increased in snacking among American consumers—a habit that spiked to include 73% of adults in 2022 from 58% in 2021, according to the survey.
People who reported feeling very stressed (29%) in the last six months were more likely to snack at least three times a day compared to those who reported feeling only somewhat stressed (10%). Similarly, about 1 in 4 adults (24%) said they always or often eat when they’re feeling stressed.
In the morning, 43% of snackers opting for fruit whereas in the evening, they turn to savory/salty snacks (40%), followed by candy, chocolate and other treats (38%), and cookies, cake and ice cream (37%).
Conversely, the survey revealed that 1 in 3 Americans are making positive dietary changes to combat stress.
More than half (54%) of people who made changes to their diet/nutrition to address stress said they were trying to eat healthier, while 38% focused on healthy behaviors instead of weight loss, and 37% followed a specific eating pattern or diet.
Clean eating (16%), mindful eating (14%), calorie-counting (13%) and plant-based (12%) were the top diet/eating pattern picks in 2022.
Energy emerged as the most popular functional benefit consumers sought in their foods and beverages with 37% of Americans reported in the survey to have a preference for this.
Weight loss/weight management (30%), digestive health (29%), cardiovascular health (28%) and improved sleep (26%) were also among sought-after functional benefits.
The survey also revealed continued interest in sustainability with 39% reporting that environmental sustainability impacted whether they decided to buy certain foods and beverages in 2022, up from 27% in 2019. However, high prices at the grocery store could deter purchase decisions from sustainable options.
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